South African Penguins

© CliftonBeard


Penguins don’t fly, but they still share features with all birds:
Wings, a Beak, and Feathers, Oh My!

In this live, interactive, web-based program, learn how the unique adaptations of African Penguins help them to survive in their ocean habitat. Waddle and swim like a penguin while observing our live penguin colony. Then, Academy staff will answer student questions about these amazing birds!

This program integrates the Next Generation Science Standards by focusing on:

  • Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns; Structure and Function
Reserve a session at a time that works for your schedule!

Date: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
Duration: 20-40 minutes
Target Audience: Kindergarten - 3rd graders in schools, libraries, homeschool groups, and more
Price: $70 per session
Title I Discount: 50% off
Bulk Discount: 20% off (pre-book 5+ sessions)
Group Size: 8-65 students per session
Multilingual support: English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin

Notes for Scheduling:

  • Sunrise in our penguin habitat starts at 9:00am PT, lights may not be fully on at 8:30am PT
  • Penguin feeding starts at 10:30am PT, if you want to see the feeding choose a 10:15am PT start time
Organizer Prep
Program Summary
penguin feeding

In this live, interactive program, students will meet and learn about just one of the many animals that live here at the California Academy of Sciences: the South African Penguin.

The program will begin by comparing penguins to other birds to discover what features they all have in common.  We will then get a live peek into our African Penguin colony as we make observations about the birds and the habitat in which they live.

Students will then discover why the ocean is so important to a penguin's survival and–using exciting videos and specimens–the adaptations penguins have for their ocean habitat. 

Finally, the class will have a chance to ask questions of Academy staff all about these amazing birds!

Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • K-ESS3.A: Natural Resources: Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need.
  • 1-LS1.A: Structure and Function: All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air. Plants also have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow.

  • LS1.B – Growth and Development: Reproduction is essential to the continued existence of every kind of organism. Plants and animals have unique and diverse life cycles. 

  • LS2.D - Social Interactions and Group Behavior: Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes. Groups may serve different functions and vary dramatically in size
  • LS4.C – Adaptation: For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. 

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns
  • Structure and Function 

Related Performance Expectation:

This Virtual Program is just one step toward reaching the Performance Expectation listed below. Addition supporting materials/lessons/activities will be required.

K-LS1-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.

Not interested in meeting our penguin colony? Discover more one-on-one Virtual Programs or check out the free webcasts in our Special Live Events series.

Grades: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Program Duration: 30 minutes
Price: $70.00

Distance Learning Price Range

Distance Learning Prices
Virtual Program session: $70       Title I Discount: 50% off                 Bulk Discount: 20% off                (pre-book 5+ sessions)